Monday, March 28, 2011

'Colorado, Florida, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Washington gear up to boost growth plans...'

Quoting from today's article by Alex Philippidis:

"Colorado life science leaders are working with state lawmakers this year to create a 'fund of funds' for venture capital firms that invest in life science and other technology start-ups. It would also extend the Bioscience Discovery Evaluation Grant Program (BDEGP), a $27 million initiative set to expire next year. 'We’re looking at hopefully starting a $100 million fund,' Holli Baumunk, president and CEO of the Colorado BioScience Association (CBSA), told GEN.

While CBSA is assessing options that include public funding, it is leaning toward more private-sector funding given the state’s budget woes; Colorado faces a $1.1 billion shortfall. 'The appetite is not really there right now to do it on the public side because of the budget issues,' Baumunk remarked.

BDEGP awards $5.5 million annually toward proof-of-concept initiatives, company formation, and infrastructure to support the growth of the industry. As of last month, the state appropriated $14 million toward the program. The industry credits the initiative with: creating 598 direct and indirect jobs in the state; leveraging $68 million in follow-on investment, grants, and matching funds; and helping 18 companies spin out of Colorado’s research institutions, with at least three more companies pending as a result of proof-of-concept grants.

Baumunk said a measure to extend BDEGP five more years is pending in the state General Assembly sponsored by Rep. Cheri Gerou (R) and Sen. Pat Steadman (D). BDEGP is among state programs funded from gaming dollars. The budget shortfall is raising concerns that the money will be diverted to the general fund rather than continue to be used for BDEGP or other programs. Baumank noted that the program may lose a total of $300,000 from the $5.5 million appropriated each year."

Link to the GEN posting

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